Passengers of the Kanyakumari–Rameswaram Express escaped unhurt on Monday when the engine and the first coach of the train derailed near Sattur, about 70 km from in Madurai.
The mishap occurred around 1.45 am between Sattur and Tulukkapatti stations in neighbouring Virudhunagar District, railway officials said.
Passengers of the train were brought in Madurai by buses and then accommodated in the Madurai-Rameswaram passenger train.
Traffic in the Madurai-Kovilpatti railway section was affected for over eight hours till the track was restored. Additional Railway Manager T Venkatasubramanian supervised the restoration work.
The reason for the derailment was under investigation, they said.